The Library of the Aragonese Kings of Naples
The library assembled in the 15th century by the Aragonese kings of Naples is the third component of the Europeana Regia project.
This project will allow for the virtual reconstruction of a collection that is literally scattered throughout Europe.
Today, the manuscripts are located in over a dozen institutions:
- in France: in the municipal libraries in Besançon, Grenoble, Louviers, Rouen; in the Société académique de l'Aveyron in Rodez; in the Château de Chantilly and, of course, in the Bibliothèque nationale de France
- elsewhere in Europe: in the Nationalbibliothek in Berlin, the University Libraries in Cambridge and in Leiden, the British Library, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III in Naples, the Vatican Library and the Biblioteca Històrica de la Universitat de València in Spain.
This project provides an opportunity to update research on this collection (which started with the Biblioteca napoletana, written by Tammaro De Marinis forty years ago) and to make its texts and illumination better known.
Of the 800 manuscript and printed books from the Aragonese library which are currently housed in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, about 200 manuscripts have been selected for digitisation:
- the manuscripts bought by the cardinal Georges d’Amboise from King Federico of Aragon, which constitute a luxurious and coherent collection, both textually and artistically, and which are close to the works and sets that are preserved in the other institutions. Their full reproduction will allow for further study of their history.
- the manuscripts written in Spanish or Italian appropriated by Charles VIII of France. These are not as well known but just as important. Manuscripts that had not previously been identified as Neapolitan will be added. Representative of royal tastes, the collection includes books such as poetry anthologies and treatises on shoeing horses.
All the French holding institutions will be contributing to Europeana Regia: the municipal libraries in Louviers, Rouen, Grenoble and Besançon will digitise their manuscripts within the scope of the project, while the Château de Chantilly will contribute existing images. In Europe, the Biblioteca Històrica de la Universitat de València and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich are currently participating. The Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III in Naples may join the project at a later date.